Fox’s new series Empire is huge. Like, insanely, impossibly, jaw-droppingly huge. In an age where ratings are steadily declining across the board as audiences cut cables and enter the brave new world of streaming, it’s a phenomenon. And like all phenomenons, it has to get targeted by SNL. In the most recent digital short, Empire is re-imagined with a brand new character: Chip the office manager, played by guest host Chris Hemsworth.
The overarching joke of this fake promo, that Chip is a desperate attempt to get white people to watch Empire, doesn’t quite work. The show is a huge hit. It doesn’t need a handsome white dude to help it out. However, the rest of it is pretty great, giving Kenan Thompson, Sasheer Zamata, Leslie Jones and Jay Pharoah a chance to dominate their own sketch. It’s a shame that it took a parody of a “black show” to get these four headlining their own digital short, but at least it’s a start.
Aside from the solid impressions from the cast members, there is the incredibly game Hemsworth, who plays a total innocent dropped into the pit of vipers that is Empire’s brutal, soap operatic world. His attempt to actually do his job while surrounded by sociopaths is very funny, showing off a goofy side of Hemsworth that we rarely get to see.